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“Uncle” … I Don’t Want To Be A Rossi Fan, But I Give Up

042716top-i
Jeremy McGrath was a great Supercross champion … turns out the greatest ever. Yet, his success on the track worked against him when it came to my fan support (yes, I was a big Supercross fan … attending every Anaheim and San Diego round every year). Something about me wants to root for the underdog.

As a roadracing fan, I’ve had my issues with Valentino Rossi over the years. Imperious, at times, and fairly obvious at his engagement in “mind games”, maybe it was his winning that caused me, more than anything else, to root for his opponents. For several years McGrath made Supercross main events boring. Although Rossi never dominated roadracing in quite the same way, I found myself cheering on the underdogs, nonetheless.

I have written about, and opined on, Valentino Rossi many, many times over the years. I compared the results Rossi obtained during his two years at Ducati with his then-teammate Nicky Hayden and concluded that both riders were equally successful/unsuccessful … essentially a wash. I thought his glory days were over, and that he would never threaten to win a championship again, and would struggle to win races. After he returned to Yamaha, I publicly ate crow when I wrote the article “Rossi Proved Me Wrong”. There is a difference, however, between acknowledging a rider’s merit and being a fan of that rider.

Sure, I have to objectively report race results and acknowledge good performances and poor performances when I see them, but I am human just like every other fan or moto-journalist. After what Rossi did last weekend at Jerez, I have been drug (perhaps, kicking and screaming) into the fan category.  Trust me, dragging elbows was not something you saw when Rossi began racing more than two decades ago. The man has not only survived through dramatically differing eras of racing and technology, he is still thriving.

To see Rossi dominate Jerez at 37 against two of the greatest “elbow draggers” in history, both still in their 20s, was not just inspiring, it was awe inspiring. Rossi has re-invented himself more than once, but never more convincingly than he has since the remarkable Marc Marquez moved up to MotoGP a few years ago. Apparently Rossi never believed the axiom “you can’t teach an old dog new tricks.” All I can say is Bravo!


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83 Comments

  1. tunde says:

    My opinion of VR is similar to my opinion on Michael Schumacher. The numbers don’t lie. I’d consider them, cross-generationally, the greatest in their respective sports. They have a unique blend that all previous champions have had; speed, racecraft, intelligence and ruthless aggression. I think jornos like Mat Oxley and to a lesser extent Suzi Perry et al lapped up and amplified that ‘Cheeky chappie’ narrative, possibly for access and also because the sport needed a neo-hippy character (day-glo yellow, post victory theatrics) in contrast to what motorsport was rolling out in F1 (serious, scholastic, mealy mouthed robotic personalities beloved of corporate sponsors). It also meant he could be contrasted to the personalities like Biaggi, Gibbers and eventually Pedrosa.
    But for me both are extremely flawed personalities and i’m not convinced they are whom the press presents them to be. Take MS; His clumsy attempt to force Villneuve off track at Jerez’s dry sack brought into focus his mental purpose when he disabled Damon Hill previous years back. He became the “red baron” in British newspapers, the uncompromising teuton in which only the record books mattered.
    For me, i began to sour towards VR when he obliquely cheapened Daijiro Kato’s talent by referring to Kato’s 2 stroke 500 as “something special” and entirely different from that which he had ridden. It was an insidious insinuation. Kato, was after all, HRC’s homegrown world beater. Unfortunately Dai-chan passed away.
    Next was his mocking of DP26 at Sepang in 06 when DP podiumed with a nasty foot injury. Capirossi (always VR’s court jester in his servitude) joined in. DP was further implicitly blamed for being the reason why 800s were introduced. It was VR that started that meme as a dig at HRC.
    We all know his relationship with CS27, JL99, Mad Max and latterly MM93. What’s the pattern here ? They could all beat him on their day and some, over a season on equal equipment (possibly excluding Mad Max).
    So, i appreciate all he has done for the sport. I am intrigued how he goes in the races. I feel others measure themselves by him(quite rightly), which in itself is a measure of his Leviathan stature in the sport. I deeply dislike his insinuations and manipulation of the media and his adoring fans because i feel he knows he can manipulate both elements to his whims. I find it deeply unsportsmanlike and quite the “Latin” thing to do. His image is bigger than that. He raged unnecessarily at MM93 last year and whilst Marquez is no angel, to me, it seemed as if Marquez saw his idol had feet of clay and no clothes on. He looked stunned.
    So. Great that he won at Jerez. All the top contenders have won this year. Consistency will be the key. And on that you wouldn’t bet against JL. Now, if JL were to get a couple of mechanicals like LH has had at Mercedes F1 this year, I wonder how fans would react if JL said it was a conspiracy ?
    I am a fan ? Yes of the sport and it’s champions. Not of their personalities, however constructed.

  2. mugwump says:

    I’m more resilient than you are. I’m perfectly comfortable with recognizing his record and maintaining my dislike of the man.

  3. PatrickD says:

    Rossi plays the game better than anyone, but I think that journalists are so keen-to-be-seen that they lap it up.
    Say it’s the British GP, and he’ll say something like ‘Cal Crutchlow rides like a demon.’ So everyone is happy and gives him positive press. He does it in every country, and even said that John Hopkins was a title challenger! Yeah right! But the press lapped it up.
    He’s been focussed on beating his rivals off the track rather than on it. he humiliated Stoner in his Ducati championship year, saying that he’d take Stoner’s bike and beat the pants off him. Of course, when he did go there, things weren’t so rosy, contradicting the statements made by Burgess and Rossi.
    Lorenzo is his absolute nemesis. he seems impervious to criticism and hatred from the yellow brigade. Rossi has now tried to destroy Marquez, and if, as I suspect, Marc runs with the title lead as I expect him too, expect something very nasty for him this year.
    Rossi was king for a long time, but that’s now Marquez. The main difference being that, despite a clearly poor bike, Marquez is the man to beat. If the Honda was any good, all bets would be off for the title. As it is, the battle to watch is Marquez vs Honda.

  4. Big Al says:

    I think it was King Kenny who first drug his elbow along the tarmac when cornering; thus, instituting a new racing style.

  5. Hot Dog says:

    At this point, I like to state that I feel personally responsible for “The World’s Greatest T-Shirt Salesman” winning this last race. After all, it was ME that chapped his arse, when I mentioned what a poisonous atmosphere he spews forth. That alone probably motivated him to a fevered adrenalin fueled sweat that made him unbeatable. I know, I know, some may say this is fairly presumptuous on my part but you must realize the heavy burden I now carry because of this. I fully expect the old “GOAT” to call me for more inspiration and I won’t let all of you “Holier than thou” lovers down. I’ve got some words for him that’ll light him up like a campfire. Listen, did you hear that? Is that my phone?

  6. GNG says:

    Being a Rossi fan for many years, who grew older along his career, i really feel so good when he proves that older guys can be competitive, whatever they (we) do

  7. Vrooom says:

    I find it hard not to be a fan of Rossi when guys like Lorenzo and Marquez are his rivals. Lorenzo’s talented but walking off of a podium where you won the race because you were upset that you teammate had a run in with a rival team is pathetic. I can see routing for guys like Maverick Vinales, the Espargo brothers, Bradley Smith, the Andreas, etc. But they’re fighting their way on to the podium, not the top step yet.

  8. Jeremy in TX says:

    I suffer from the same underdog syndrome. Part of it might be that I just do not have a fan mentality. In fact, I really don’t even understand what makes people into true fans of other people or teams. Don’t get me wrong, I completely relate to the appreciation and admiration of skill, but I don’t get the inner workings of people who feel personal insult or injury when one rider beats “your” rider or causes him to crash, etc.

    It may even go further psychologically than an underdog syndrome. There might be some “anti-fan” in me. Perhaps it is some need deep down that yearns for nonconformity, but I have a hard time pulling for Rossi simply because he has such a fanatical following. Come to think about it… I kind of resent him for being bigger than the sport if you will. Yet in the same breath, I think it would be great if he won the championship this year, mostly because I don’t expect him to.

    If someone painted me into a corner and held my feet to the fire, I guess I’d say I pull for Marquez and have since his first year in the Premier Class (since he was an underdog), but truth is I was pulling for someone – anyone – to beat him that year he was so dominant. When Rossi was slightly ahead in the points towards the end of last season, I was hoping Lorenzo would catch him and beat him to the championship. When Rossi was penalized for his altercation with Marquez and started from the back of the grid, I had hoped he would blitz through the field and snatch the championship from Lorenzo. I hope every race weekend for one of the Suzukis to snuff one of the aliens off of the podium.

    When I think about it, I guess I am a fan afterall… of the unlikely outcome. And an exciting race!

    • mickey says:

      Well that was an interesting read. No pleasing some people eh? I want Rossi to win, I want Rossi to get beaten, I hate Lorenzo, I hope Lorenzo beats Rossi….lol

      I am first a fan of MotoGP, then I am a fan of any top tier rider (but that doesn’t stop me from criticizing them if I deem them worthy of receiving it), then I am a sorta underdog fan, must be, because I root for Pedrosa every year lol. I am a fan of all the aliens because they have more than just talent, they have that something extra, the extra drive and ambition and fear of failure. That’s where I criticize Pedrosa, not enough killer instinct (Hayden aside ha ha ha) I think he settles too easy.

      Geez maybe I need some of your meds too Jeremy

      • Jeremy in TX says:

        “No pleasing some people eh?”

        LOL. Quite the opposite… so long as the race is a good one, I am always happy. I love surprise outcomes more than anything, but I also love watching any of those aces do their thing regardless of the winner. Jerez was a boring race, but it was great to see Rossi get out there and spank the kids like that.

        If you consider yourself a fan of the sport first and foremost, then you are probably already on the same meds as me. It just sounds like your condition is much milder, lol!

        • Crim says:

          That’s me. I’ve been a fan of a few racers over the decades but rarely. I am a fan of a close race or a close game. Dominance of a sport makes it dull for spectators. Bring on lots of lead changes and a photo finish. I don’t really care who wins.

  9. Tim says:

    It’s always been apparent watching him ride, that he has a unique ability to control a bike like nobody else. He’s not as smooth as Lorenzo. Watching Lorenzo is like watching art in motion. Watching Rossi was like watching someone constantly on the edge. I recall some high side saves, especially before electronics started controlling things, that appeared to be impossible, but he pulled them off. I especially loved the way he would lay back until the last lap or two, giving the leader hope, then crush those hopes with an effortless late pass. It was almost like he laid back on purpose because he enjoyed crushing their egos. His slow starts helped make for a lot of drama. I’m a Rossi fan. I didn’t like his antics last season with Marquez, that took a little luster off for me, but it doesn’t take away from his greatness as a rider.

    • Delmartian says:

      Tim – I don’t believe that Rossi would intentionally “lay back until the last lap or two, giving the leader hope, then crush those hopes with an effortless late pass”, and that “he laid back on purpose because he enjoyed crushing their egos”. I think there’s an advantage to following a rider who he knows he can pass until the final lap or two, as it allows him to ride at a less risky pace than if he was leading with Pos 2 hot on his tail. Better to be the “chaser” than the “chasee” until the last lap or two, unless you’re running slow laps and at risk of being caught by Pos 3. Rossi did that to win races, not to crush hope.

      • Curly says:

        Correct! It was a typical method he used when it was him and one other rider in contention for the win (think Sete Gibernau or Max Biaggi) to let them lead until the last two laps or so then blow by and safely win the race. If there were more riders involved he would take the lead earlier and let them fight for the scraps. Of course some times it would just unnerve the rider in front into running wide or crashing out, Great stuff.

      • Tim says:

        Delmartian, I’m sure slipstreaming and saving fuel and tires may have been part of the equation. But he wasn’t always on the fastest bike, so laying back wasn’t without risk. I firmly believe psychological warfare has always been part of Rossi’s game plan. His psychological games clearly worked on Sete Gibernau, and Max Biaggi, as Curly points out. It reached the point where I actully felt sorry for Sete. It’s a little ironic that Mark Marquez played psycological games with Rossi last season, and it cost Rossi a great chance at another championship when he came unwound. I’ve felt like both Lorenzo and Marquez have taken a page out of Rossi’s book, and have tried to get into his head over the years, sometimes pretty successfully.

    • TexinOhio says:

      I’ve been a Rossi fan since 1996 when I started riding street bikes myself as a college freshman. I’m a fan more of his now as he’s been the only guy still on the grid that went through the entire 2 stroke line into the 4 stroke bikes of today.

      I can’t really give credence to Lorenzo or Marques or any of the new guys because they’ve come up into the bikes with so many save your tail features it’s almost fail proof with the current line of bikes.

      Put all the current guys on old 500 2 strokes and see what happens.

      Same with tennis which is my other favorite sport. The racquet and string tech of today makes it too easy. Give todays players the small 80 square inch head size wood racquets of days gone past and see who would play well.

      Last example would be golf. Take away all this titanium carbon whatnot clubs, give the pros the woods and irons of the old days and see who can play.

      • Dave says:

        Re: “I can’t really give credence to Lorenzo or Marques or any of the new guys because they’ve come up into the bikes with so many save your tail features it’s almost fail proof with the current line of bikes.”

        Yet they all still fall & crash at about the same rate. It doesn’t matter if they’re on eloctronics or 500cc 2-strokes, as long as the disparity between their equipment is the same as it is now, so will be the gaps at the end of the race. Same with golf, same with tennis.

        If these aids are a bigger advantage to the lesser talented athletes than they are to the creme of the crop, so be it, the racing will be closer & better. Moto2 & Moto3 (closer spec bikes, no rider aids) contradict that, though. In those classes there is closer racing with a longer list of riders in contention for wins.

      • Tim says:

        I suspect Lorenzo would have adapted pretty well to the two strokes. His riding is smooth and would seem to be pretty well suited to managing their twitchiness. I suspect Marquez would really struggle on them.

  10. Andrus Chesley says:

    MM brought elbow dragging to the sport! Who bought knee dragging to the sport? You have to adapt or go home. Rossi at 3 decades of having fun? Oh yes. Was neat to see a pic of Ago at the last races. What a win record he had! Use to love following him and Hailwood and Redman. Oppps , telling my age. LOL!

    • Delmartian says:

      And don’t forget, it was Rossi who innovated with his “leg-out” style when de-accelerating approaching a corner, which was adopted by other riders. He’s willing to do more than just adapt; he invents.

      • mickey says:

        and I’m still not convinced that does anything. I think guys just do it because Val started doing it. When things get really hairy and fast the legs don’t dangle much and I don’t know that I’ve ever seen Lorenzo do it, and Marquez and Pedrosa very rarely do it. If it actually did something no doubt those guys would be doing it too

        • Jeremy in TX says:

          Rossi himself said years ago in an interview that the crew looked at the data and determined that braking times were the same: leg-out or foot-on-the-peg, it made no difference. He has also said many times that it just feels natural.

          Rossi is a very superstitious guy. Personally, I think he does it because he believes it brings him luck.

          • Delmartian says:

            I think it actually makes it harder to be overtaken, in that it makes the bike/rider combo wider and thus more difficult to pass. Perhaps just subconsciously, but it does appear to be the case sometimes.

          • Tim says:

            There may be something to Delmartin’s passing theory. You don’t seem to see near as many instances of 3 wide passing on curves like you used to.

    • ROXX says:

      Ben Spies was the first of the elbow draggers in MotoGP.

      • Scott says:

        Not really, if you want to split hairs. Jean-Phillipe Ruggia was doing it in the early 90’s…

      • Jeremy in TX says:

        Elbow drags don’t count when you are crashing. 🙂

      • jim says:

        They nick named Spies “elboz” because he rode with his elbows stuck way up in the air, not because they got anywhere near the track.Good rider for sure, but not in this league.

        • Scott says:

          If you don’t think Ben Spies dragged his elbows, you need to search Google Images for “ben spies dragging elbow”…

          He was wearing elbow sliders going back to his AMA Superbike days. I even seem to recall that when he arrived in MotoGP, somebody was actually telling him he needed to stop doing it and use a more “normal” riding position…

    • Dave says:

      Re: “MM brought elbow dragging to the sport! ”

      Elbows were hitting the curbing for a decade or more before Marquez arrived. A quick google search for “elbow dragging” turned up a photo of Nicky Hayden on the #69 Honda RC-51 super bike with his elbow on the ground, among many other older images.

      • VLJ says:

        I know of at least one local AFM/Nationals racer who was dragging elbows long before any of us had ever heard of Nicky Hayden, never mind Marc Marquez.

        • Scott says:

          He probably wanted to be like Ruggia!

          • VLJ says:

            Not likely. This guy couldn’t even spell ‘Ruggia.’ He’s a preternaturally talented rider, but not exactly the most worldly dude you’ll ever meet.

    • Louis says:

      The first racer I ever saw drag an elbow was Eric Bostrom at Sears Point (now called Sonoma) on a ZX9. That was in the late 90s.

    • Josh says:

      The ‘Doctors Dangle’ — Actually, the Doctor seems to only use his ‘dangle’ into the hardest braking corners and me thinks it helps the back wheel stay planted on the ground during hard braking…and keeps the back wheel from sliding out. It also helps you to sit-up high just before going into the corner, which gives a good early view of the apex you’re aiming at. Whatever it does, it doesn’t seem to slow his lap times.

    • Crim says:

      ” Who bought knee dragging to the sport?”

      Wasn’t that King Kenny?

  11. Delmartian says:

    The thing I love about Rossi, and the reason I’ll always be a huge fan, is that beyond his incredible skill and championship success is, simply put, his obvious joy in doing what he does. Apparent not only from his giant smile and celebratory attitude after a race win, but in what he says before, during and following a race, whether he wins or not: pure joy and love of the sport. It’s infectious. I honestly believe that Rossi races as much for the enjoyment he gets from racing and competing than for the actual win itself. It’s not a job, it’s what he lives for. Compare his comments and facial expressions to those of Marquez, Lorenzo, Pedrosa, and Stoner. These other riders are all serious, dedicated, and immensely talented too, but they come off as robotic automatons. Rossi has genuine fun in what he does for a living, the others enjoy winning and that’s about it. I’m happy for Rossi when he races, and especially when he wins, the others not so much (although I certainly appreciate their talent and skill) because Rossi just seems to be enjoying it a whole lot more.

  12. xLaYN says:

    This thread will grow into the hundreds….
    I thought once JL goes to Ducati it could happen that Yami will stop winning races.
    Now it seems like VR just ace the last race (even winning Kudos from Dirk).
    Could it be that Yamaha just shift attention to him (read it as parts or putting more time into VR and the last race is a result of it?).
    What if VR feels like he “won” by JL going to a good bike but not a race proven one and therefore taking one alien out of the equation… as a result VR morale boost and bam, he starts winning races?
    Just a flux on the thread of space and time.

  13. EZMark says:

    2-stroke, 4-stroke.
    Little bikes, big bikes, bigger bikes.
    125cc, 250cc, 500cc, 990cc, 800cc, 999cc.
    1-cylinder, 2-cylinders, 4-cylinders, 5-cylinders.
    In his teens, in his 20’s in his 30’s.
    On an Aprilia, on a Honda, on a Yamaha (OK not on a Ducati).
    He’s done it all, he’s won it all.
    Rossi is the greatest ever and has always had fun doing it.
    How can you not be a fan?

  14. TimC says:

    I wish I had hair like that paddock girl’s. Oh, wait

    • xLaYN says:

      LOL…

    • Scott says:

      That paddock girl had a damn fine ride, which would have been the story of the weekend if not for Brad Binder.

      • notarollingroadblock says:

        Exactly. Binder’s win from the last starting position was the story of the weekend, not Rossi’s win. Now if Rossi keeps it up, that’s a different story. Overall though, MotoGP needs some bar banging to meet the entertainment factor of the lower classes.

  15. VLJ says:

    Dirck, perhaps one reason you can now rationalize rooting for #46 is the most obvious one, considering your usual rooting history: Valentino Rossi is now the underdog.

    He really is, which grants you permission to root for the guy. There are countless Hot Dogs out there who constantly bleat, “Rossi can’t run their (the Aliens) pace anymore,” and “He’s only there as a PR move by Yamaha,” and other such nonsense, never mind the fact that for the past two seasons he has clearly been right there with Lorenzo and Marquez. Sometimes he’s faster, often times they are, but even when they’re faster he’s still within a tenth or three, so it’s not as if he’s getting blown into the weeds.

    No matter. Seemingly everyone has written the guy off countless times. How many polls have we seen wherein the question was something along the lines of, “Will Rossi contend for the championship again/be as competitive as he was in 2015/ever win another race?”

    The implication being that he’s likely finished as a competitive force in racing, despite all evidence to the contrary.

    So, root to your heart’s content. You can honestly say you’re sticking to your guns and rooting for the underdog. I mean, come on, what are the realistic alternatives? Marquez? Lorenzo? No self-respecting fan of the underdog could ever root for Repsol Honda’s Marc Marquez, never mind Jorge freaking Lorenzo.

    To your other point, probably the most telling (and stunning) of Rossi’s personal reinventions is the very thing we saw in Jerez, continuing what we’ve been witnessing this entire season, namely, that our historically indifferent qualifier has suddenly begun to take this stuff seriously and is now right there with the others not just on Sunday but also on Friday and Saturday.

    This took serious balls. The guy had to look in the mirror and admit his poor qualifying was costing him dearly, and rather than rest on his laurels and say, “Yeah, well, BFD, I always manage to get to the front anyway once the flag drops on Sunday,” instead he made the commitment to learn yet another new trick and start kicking butt in practice and qualifying.

    Despite his heroics during the race, I can almost guarantee that the most ominous current running through the paddock these days is the knowledge that Valentino Rossi is actually trying hard now during qualifying, and it’s working. He has quickly removed the one ace in the hole Marquez and especially Lorenzo always held, which was the inevitable early-race cushion they would gain over #46.

    No more. The guy is coming hard, the moment the truck doors are pulled up on Friday. For a twenty-year veteran of the GP wars, this is probably Rossi’s most remarkable achievement, the sustaining will to keep getting better.

    • TimC says:

      “For a twenty-year veteran of the GP wars, this is probably Rossi’s most remarkable achievement, the sustaining will to keep getting better.”

      Concur/hear hear but that said, I would say this ties with what Dirck implies about his ability to change (“elbow-dragging”). Most riders learn how to ride fast in a particular style and end up out to pasture when they can’t adapt to the new tricks. Rossi’s ability to change his style and be competitive is basically unheard of.

      • VLJ says:

        Absolutely true. And still, even as singularly remarkable as the riding-style change was/is, I almost think it pales in comparison to his willingness to admit to himself that he needed to change his entire attitude about racing. Reason being, dragging elbows only required a technical adjustment. As a student of the sport, it wasn’t difficult for Rossi to analyze what Marquez was doing, suss out the benefit, and adapt this new technique to his own body positioning.

        It didn’t require that he change the way he thinks. He didn’t have to reassess his racing priorities. It’s one thing to leave your comfort zone and learn a new scale, a new position, a new way to grip the ball, etc. It’s quite another to say to yourself, “I’ve been lazy and uncommitted. If I’m to be successful again I’m going to have to step up my entire game, including the boring grunt work.”

        The best example I ever saw of this was Michael Jordan during his final season with the Washington Wizards. I went to a Kings-Wizards game, and arrived a few hours early to do the dinner thing at the arena. I walked down to the court, and there was MJ and an assistant coach, working together on a footwork drill. They were forty feet from the basket, and Michael had his back to the hoop. He was working on his drop-step. That’s it. Just his drop-step.

        They were the only two guys on the court. It would be another half hour or so before the other players began filtering out onto the floor. In fact, I later ran into two Wizards rookies goofing around in the elevator. They were in full uniform, riding up and down the elevators, randomly pressing the buttons.

        Meanwhile, the greatest player in the history of the game, a guy in his final season, playing with a team going nowhere, was out there on his own practicing the most basic of footwork fundamentals.

        That’s Valentino Rossi, thirty-seven years old, somehow finding the will to give his best during another desultory Friday morning FP2 session in Sepang or Silverstone or wherever.

        That’s what makes a GOAT.

  16. mickey says:

    It’s been a pleasure watching Rossi since he moved into the premier class. He has been outstanding and really should have 10 championships already, maybe 11 if only a couple things had gone his way. I sat on my couch in 06 and yelled at the TV when he made that silly low speed drop which was the final mistake that year which cost him the championship. Although a fan, I’ll admit I was one of the ones who thought he was done when he went to Ducati. NEver did understand that move. I thought he would never win another race, and he didnt on the Duc, but came back to Yamaha to prove myself and a lot of people wrong. The thing I admire most are his desire and adaptability. NO matter what they throw at him, he somehow over comes. I said a fan in that I have admired his ability to pilot a motorcycle. He hasn’t always been the easiest person to root for personality wise. He has been in a lot of fueds, and treated other riders poorly and underhandedly. Still je found out a way to come out on top in each of those confrontations as well. You only have to attend 1 race in person to see his fanatical fan base. IT is amazing and unprecedented.

  17. Big Al says:

    WELCOME TO THE CLUB!

    ps it is still ok to like Little Princess Nicky.

    • Scott says:

      Wow, that was pretty random. You and Nicky have some kind of personal history or something?

      • Big Al says:

        Not random at all. More of a satirical comment about the over publication of the then latest flash in the pan rider to knock Rossi off the top step.

        Nicky is a good racer and deserves his credit.

        Rossi is an awesome motorcycle racing Doctor and deserves his as well.

        As long as he doesn’t do anything stupid like he did last season.

  18. Andy H. says:

    Did I miss something in the post race interviews? Or did I truly not hear any KUDOS for The Doctor from the losers?

    • VLJ says:

      Nope, you heard (or didn’t hear) correctly. The closest to a kudo either guy offered was Marquez’s comment that Rossi was simply too fast this weekend, so the prudent decision was to settle for the sixteen points and move on.

      • Hot Dog says:

        Yes, Rossi generates such a warm, loving atmosphere amongst the other racers, doesn’t he? It’s got to make everyone warm and tingly all over. Jeez.

      • Jeremy in TX says:

        I think Marquez’s comment qualifies as a kudo.

        Rossi didn’t deserve a kudo from Lorenzo because, you know, Lorenzo could have won easily if only… How do you say “blah, blah blah” in Spanish?

  19. John D'Orazio says:

    And he seems to be having so much FUN! While the rest of the paddock is all grim, Rossi is having a blast. It’s contagious…

    • TimC says:

      Also this. Great personality/antics. He’s one of the luckiest guys and it’s nice to see him loving the shit out of it instead of complaining about his helmet foam.

  20. mkspeedr says:

    Ironically I could not stop thinking about how bad the Ducati must have been.

  21. Fred says:

    I have been “drug” (perhaps, kicking and screaming…….

    Dirck perhaps you need to changing DRUG to DRAGGED in the second last paragraph please.
    There are enough drugs in sport already with adding some more.

    • Ron H. says:

      Nah… just write it like you say it, this isn’t English class.

      • Scott says:

        Mmmm, yeah… That is the usual excuse for bad writing (as if someone who writes well in real life forgets everything when they post online)… But then again, we’re talking about a profesional journalist here. Can we not hold him to a standard just a *tiny* bit higher than the usual semi-illiterate blather we have to endure everywhere else?

        • Jeremy in TX says:

          “Drug”, while not grammatically correct historically, is widely accepted now just like a huge host of other words, conjugations, structures and spellings we now consider correct that chaffed grammarians 200 years ago. It is kind of like the whole “world is round” thing: most people rolled with it long before the “authority” accepted it.

          So roll with it gents, or risk finding yourselves drug kicking and screaming into the world widely accepted changes to the English language.

    • TimC says:

      Stay off the grass when writing a term paper

    • Dirck Edge says:

      Dictionary.com recognizes the word as “a simple past tense and past participle of drag” used in addition to dragged. There are web discussion forums for grammar and usage. Not here, please.

    • Mark says:

      Fred, really?